Tuesday, March 31, 2009

More Photos from the Internet Shows...

(IMAGE - courtesy of Allure West Studios)
Natalie Napolean Wi of Allure West Studios just posted on her blog a few of the photos she took of the two Internet shows we taped a couple of weekends ago. Sorry the photos are so small, but you can visit Natalie's blog at www.allurewest.com/blog for larger images. :)

What a day, Jodi Murphy did an amazing job recapping what happened that day. It was non-stop from morning until I rushed out of there at 4:20 to get home to my son before my dad had to leave for work. I wasn't nervous for some reason. Those who know me, know that I hate public speaking and I hate being in front of the camera. I was NERVOUS on the Martha Stewart Show so I expected I would be much the same with the craft segment Lea and I worked on together. I prepared my "swap-outs" like I learned from being on the Martha Stewart Show and just figured we'd wing it. Lea McIntosh was really focused on her other video shoot so during our hair and make-up session, she asked the hair dresser what questions she'd like answers for and we wrote up cue cards. Lea trusted that I would lead the show and because it was taped, it was easy to just cut and move to the next set of swap-outs. Believe it or not, we started at 3:20 and ended at 4:20. It went really smooth for the most part other than the little instances of getting tongue twisted in what we were trying to say (note - it was already a long day for Lea with little to no sleep the night before). I had a lot of fun and I just reminded myself that I should just think of Lea as my student, someone I'm teaching. She did a fabulous job I might add! Plus the fact that I really didn't have to look at the camera helped out a lot. James Burkart and his wife of Burkart Video Productions, Amy were so awesome and gave us great guidance the whole time. They do some amazing videography work.

I would do it again in a heartbeat. So much fun and so thrilling to be part of something so cool! It was such a pleasure to work with some really wonderful and amazing professionals. More to come when the videos are launched so stay tuned. I'm sure more photos will be available in the coming days & weeks. The team work involved was truly awe inspiring! Can't wait to do it again.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Help Save a Life...

My dear friend and colleague, Stacie Tamaki aka "The Flirty Girl" needs our help. A couple of months ago her closest cousin, Tami, became very ill and after weeks of tests, low blood cell counts, dangerously high fever and low blood pressure levels, they finally figured out that she has Myelodysplastic Syndrome or MDS is a disease of the bone marrow very similar to acute leukemia. It causes the bone marrow to produce blood cells and platelets that are either abnormal or underdeveloped. She is the mother of 2 young children and desperately needs our help, so she can be a loving and healthy mother to her precious children.
Stacie has developed a website www.helpingtami.org and is asking all those of Asian ethnicity to get tested to see if you could be a possible bone marrow donor. It's easy and to those who are a minority, the home test is free. No blood, just 4 simple swabs to return by mail. I applied and my kit came rather quickly, which is my intent to do it this week and get it turned in.

My mother passed away of breast cancer and I have other relatives who have had strokes and if I could have done something for them to help them be well, I would have. I told my husband that if we were in Tami's situation, we'd want someone to do the same for us. So, get tested and help save a life! So click on the above logo or visit www.helpingtami.org to find out how you can apply for an "at home" test kit to see if you could be a possible match. It's free for minorities and Caucasians can get the home test kit for a minimal fee.

Enter to Win - Custom Wedding Proposal now through April 30th!

My dear friend and colleague, Lea McIntosh is running an AMAZING contest that you don't want to miss out on! If you're wanting your boyfriend to propose, why not enter a chance to win a custom marriage proposal? Here are the details! I wish I wasn't already married so I could enter. LOL. Without further ado, here are the details. Visit Ready to Propose website to officially enter. Don't forget entry cut-off is midnight on April 30th!

Lea McIntosh, The Wedding Chat blogger, invites all fellow bloggers to
offer their readers the opportunity to win a custom wedding proposal through their own creative efforts. Imagine winning an entire staging of a luxury proposal during these economic times? Lea put together a team of professional artists, wedding vendors and bloggers to pull off a proposal that will be an unforgettable experience on November 10, 2009 at Casa Real at Ruby Hill Winery in Pleasanton, California. “Yes!” Will definitely be the response when “Will you Marry Me?” is a question popped at the end of this specially crafted day. “I’ll design and orchestrate a wonderful proposal for the winner,” says Lea. This will include handcrafted invitations by DK Designs; Art Deco Limo service, cruising in a 1940 Cadillac limousine; proposal cake by Cake Coquette with a custom cake topper by The Flirty Bride; gourmet meal prepared by the Casa Real Chef; private session with hairstylist Armando of Get Your DO UP! and makeup artist Tiffany Chiang; flowers by Nicole Ha; luxury linen rentals from Wildflower Linen; and all magically lit by North American Theatre Technology. “I’ll stage it at the beautiful Casa Real at Ruby Hill Winery and the theme will be based upon input from the winner.” The couple will also receive something special from San Francisco custom jeweler Dilek Sezen and a gift certificate to get them started on their wedding favors from Beau-coup. Andrew Hsu of Studio MSV will film the proposal and national award winning photographer, Michael Soo, will capture the proposal in a digital slide show.

Beginning February14th through April 30th, ENTER FOR A CHANCE TO WIN A CUSTOM PROPOSAL!

Submit the following information to enter:
1.) Contact Information 2.) Share with us the most romantic, funny, unusual, or over-the-top marriage proposal story you've heard or imagined 3.) Let us know what you think is the best way to drop a hint By clicking submit, participants agree to the terms and conditions of the Ready To Propose Proposal Story Contest as listed in the Official Rules. Participants agree to release their story and name for unconditional use on the Ready To Propose site as well as other related or affiliated sites and blogs. Ready To Propose respects your privacy and will not sell or distribute your personal information. WATCH PROPOSAL IN PARADISE! Experience what’s possible for the winner and watch Proposal in Paradise-Short Version, a proposal created by Lea involving the entire team! List of

Proposal Sponsors - See below

Studio MSV www.studiomsv.com
Soo Photography www.soophotography.com
DK Designs www.dkdesignshawaii.com
The Flirty Bride www.theflirtybride.com
TRANSPORTATION Art Deco Limo www.artdecolimo.com
Casa Real at Ruby Hill Winery www.casarealevents.com
get your DO up! www.getyourDOup.com
DesignHer Image www.DesignHerImage.com
Unique Bride www.uniquebride.com
Ready to Propose www.readytopropose.com
Dilek Sezen www.dileksezen.com
Wildflower Linen www.wildflowerlinens.com
Cake Coquette www.cakecoquette.com
FLORAL DESIGN Nicole Ha Designs www.nicoleha.com
North American Theatre Technology www.itsabouttheart.com
Beaucoup Fine Favors www.beau-coup.com

What Do 70 Corsages Look Like You Ask???

The reason for the lack of blog posts is that I've been working on flowers all last week to build 70 flower corsages for a Korean Women's University reunion that's being held in May in San Francisco. A friend's mom asked if I could help her university alumni out with their request so we agreed to corsages. They'll be adding another ribbon with their university logo and the date, but this is what I created. Let's just say 70 corsages is a lot of work and my fingers are sore and numb from wiring and taping all 70 corsages. They do look amazing though all put together in rows! We did a mixture of flower combinations. Mostly they were plumerias, but we did a cymbidium orchid as well. It's definitely colorful and I believe they clients are using these to serve as the decor for the tables as well. Each attendee will get to take them home. Needless to say, I am so glad this order is complete. Now moving onto my other orders and of course getting all my tax preparation done.

Simple Flowers -Part II

I finally finished Stephanie's order. Here is the matching boutonniere to go with her bouquet and of course, some more shots of her beautiful bridal bouquet using my new background studio stands/kit! The bride is very excited to get her bouquet and boutonniere! Ships on Tuesday! :)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Simple Flowers = A Simply Beautiful Bridal Bouquet

My client Stephanie is getting married on April 11th and I just finished her bridal bouquet. I know I have been kind of slow to post this week, but it's catch up mode for me. I hope to have photos of 70 corsages for you to see tomorrow. LOL.
Originally when Stephanie emailed me, she saw my work via Etsy and asked if I could create bridal bouquets for her entire bridal party. But she decided after much thought and discussion with her fiance, that maybe they wouldn't mean as much to her bridal attendants so we just decided to go with her bouquet and boutonniere for her groom. Her flowers were whitish ivory roses, simple white daisies with the yellow centers, stephanotis flowers with pearl centers. The bouquet was finished off with white satin ribbon with a blue organza ribbon to accent. It's absolutely BREATHTAKING!!! I feel like I just picked them out of a field of flowers. Something so simple as daisies and roses can look so beautiful! I just love how this one turned out.

I will have photos of her groom's boutonniere tomorrow. More blog posts to come soon, promise!!! You would think after buying all my lighting & studio equipment that I would actually use it, but I was anxious to get these photos to my client. ;)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A Sneak Peek at A Special Project!

Last Saturday, I mentioned that I was working on a special project that I would talk about when we could. Here's a sneak peek if you will of a behind the scenes recap of Saturday, written by the oh so talented Jodi Murphy who is a contributing writer for Gentry Magazine! If you recall, Jodi is the one who recently wrote an article about my clay flowers for the home in the March issue of Gentry Magazine.

Here are some photos taken by Jodi to capture my portion of the day. My next blog post will consist of photos from Natalie Wii of Allure West Studios. It was truly an amazing day working with VERY talented professionals! More to come soon... Thank you to Jodi for a wonderful recap of the day's events! Stay tuned for more news about these exciting projects created and produced by Lea McIntosh!

The filming of two new internet shows, photographing for a coffee table book, tablescaping, and a Los Altos power anomaly…How was your Saturday?
As told by Jodi Murphy, Contributing Writer to
Gentry Magazine

Leave it to Lea McIntosh to bring a talented team together to each focus on and do what they do best. It begins at 7 AM when Lea and her faithful crew, Pat, Betsy & Aunt Lonni, arrive at the beautiful Rutt of Los Altos showroom to begin setting up a cooking segment for an exciting new internet show (to be announced soon!) aimed at newlyweds, almost weds and those who are living away from mom & dad’s for the very first time.
James Burkart of Burkart Videography shows up with his lovely wife, Amy, to set up cameras and lighting. Filming will take place in three separate areas of the Rutt showroom. Meanwhile, Vanessa Rockey – a rockin’ hair stylist from Updo Artistry/Hair by Ness starts taming Lea’s raven tresses, and Tiffany Chiang, DesignHer Image, gets Lea's face camera ready. Lacee and Diane (more about them later) wait in the wings for their turns.

Natalie Wi – incredible photographer and co-owner of Allure West Studios – is snapping shots at every turn, documenting the day. She is collaborating with Lea on a future coffee table book. I arrive around 9:00 AM in Penelope (my MINI Cooper) filled to the brim with china, crystal, flatware, & linens I borrowed from Bloomingdale’s Stanford, along with seashells and tea lights for staging a fresh take on a Mediterranean seaside table setting. Just as I show up, David Braddy, floral designer, pulls up – thank heavens, because I need the help to unload. He’s made lovely arrangements for the kitchen set display and tablescape.
It’s a happy pandemonium inside, and you can just feel the creative energy everywhere. Carl Mindling, Lea’s on-air co-host for the cooking show, is working with Betsy to get everything prepped and ready to go. Lacee and Tejas Naik, newlyweds, are joining Lea and Carl on camera. They’re getting miked so they can ask questions while Lea and Carl demonstrate easy ways to cook and entertain. Amy Burkart, the director, is reviewing the script and making last minute notations.
Diane Phillips of DK Designs is setting up in another area. She’s arranging her custom clay floral pieces and laying out her tools to get ready for the filming of the “how to” show. She’s so organized! She’ll be teaching Lea how to create a dendrobium orchid favor box. Diane will be the premiere guest on Lea’s new show (to be announced soon!) featuring creative people & their work..

By 11 AM it’s LIGHTS! CAMERAS!...and NO action! We all hear ‘bleep’ just as the power goes out. I know what you’re thinking…we blew a fuse; but on this sunny Saturday morning there is an anomalous power outage in downtown Los Altos. There’s an estimate of TWO hours until it’s fixed…oh, and did I forget to mention that Lacee and Tejas have to leave for the airport by 12:30?

Well, as the rest of the gang try to figure out a Plan B, Natalie takes shots of the tablescape, and I take advantage of her downtime to do a kitchen vignette shot with sock monkey for Rutt of Los Altos...part of their new ad campaign Lea & I developed. It sounds like an odd idea, but it’s really getting a great reaction after the first ad we recently launched : )

Lea is about to release the newlyweds and send them on their way when – ‘bleep’ – power’s back on! Cooking segment begins, and even with several takes (it was the first time, you know), Lacee & Tejas get out the door at 12:30…okay it's 12:38, but who noticed?

Diane and Lea are up now and the rest of us watched in awe at how adept Diane is at making flowers out of this unique soft clay. Lea was an impressive first-timer but it is clear that Diane is a master artist, especially when you see how she hand-crafts each flower one petal at a time. It was a great session!

After some pick up shots, a short segment describing the table setting, more photographs, lots of clean up, the day was a wrap at 6 PM. The two new shows will air on The Wedding Chat and soon Newbies will learn to nest and we’ll all learn insights into others’ creative pursuits…yes, Leave it to Lea - JM

Jodi Murphy is a contributing writer for Gentry Magazine and Gentry Design, writing the At Home Column, Kitchen and Bath Department and feature Interior Design stories.

Monday, March 23, 2009

New Wedding Invitations - Teal and Orange and Tiffany Blue and Orange

Things have been pretty crazy of late, which is the reason for my lack in blog posts. I've been working hard to try and complete an invitation order, but of course, I ran out of toner so I decided to switch gears and work on some sample wedding invitations for some potential clients.
This is what I came up. Not much to say since I have to get back to work on all the other pending orders so, you can just enjoy a little eye candy for now. :) Orange and Tiffany Blue still seem to be a favorite among my brides. But I like the peacock blue, creme brulee and guava combination of colors. Very striking.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Look What Martha's Craft of the Day Was....

This morning as I was getting up and getting ready for a special project I was working on, I checked my email before I had to leave and I got the daily "Craft of the Day" email from http://www.marthastewart.com/ and low and behold, it was the "Clay Hydrangeas" segment I did back on April Fool's Day. I was so excited. It's hard to believe it's almost been an entire year since I was on the show. Actually on 3/19/08 on my way down to Disneyland with my family is when the producers call me and asked me to send samples! It truly was a wonderful experience.

In a few weeks, I'll share why today of all days for that to be shown on Martha's site means something to me. I can't share it yet, but I just have to say, it's going to be good!

Anyway, if you're dying to learn how to make hydrangeas out of clay, you can read the process tutorial and watch the video! Thank you Martha Stewart and your producers for putting ME and my love for clay art on the map! Being on MARTHA has definitely been a "GOOD THING"!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Great Find - www.zenatona.etsy.com

Aaw.. it's the first day of Spring and what better way to start the season than with something to brighten every room in your home... Check out Zenatona on Etsy (http://www.zenatona.etsy.com/)! My dear friend and colleague Debbie Friedrich of Debbie Friedrich Photography has been working hard on a new extension of her photography business, turning her wonderful nature and lifestyle photos into canvas art prints! Simply beautiful and affordable! She takes her photographs, has them printed on canvas and she herself stretches the canvas onto the frame and it comes complete with a nice little easel and a logo'd eco-friendly muslin carrying case!
I'm SO, SO, SO HAPPY for Debbie! She's starting to spread her wings and share her love for photography with the world. Now everyone can be touched by the beauty she sees through her lens. She feared that people would think she's moving away from photography but I told her that her wedding clients will want to come back to her for her beautiful home decor pieces to decorate their homes with. I should know, I have her Sunkiss picture and just bought my first zenatona "float" canvas print. I got to be her first order today on Etsy and I'm so proud and honored to be her first customer because I am one of her biggest fans! If you knew Debbie, you would want to own one of these breathtaking pieces just to be touched by her heart! She truly does shoot from the heart. I can't wait to see her next week as she's flying up to visit to do headshots, family portraits and take photos of me making flowers! I so hate taking photos of myself and Debbie is one professional who I HAD to have take the pictures. Her photography makes me smile and her stories behind the photos are even more telling and bring the photos to life and tell a wonderful story.
Stay tuned this weekend as she posts more canvas prints on her Etsy site! Don't miss out. I know I'll be tempted to buy them up. I told her I need artwork to display in my new studio when it's done!

All images are courtesy of Debbie Friedrich Photography and www.zenatona.etsy.com

Bella Intima Bridal Event - Saturday, April 18, 2009

Mark your calendars for a great bridal extravaganza, Bella Intima at the Allied Arts Guild in Menlo Park, California on April 18, 2009! I was originally scheduled to be a vendor at this event, but due to my overwhelmingly busy wedding season, I had to advise the event coordinator that I had to back out. I did initially agree to offer a raffle prize and I told her that I would still provide a raffle donation and she asked if I would allow her to use one of my bridal bouquets for a model to hold during the show. So, even though I won't physically be there at the event, some of my creations will.

So you just might be the lucky winner of one of my clay floral creations! The event is free, but you must pre-register at Bella Intima's website! You can also learn more about the vendors participating in the event at the Bella Intima blog.

Breakfast at Tiffany's Inspired Invitations - Final Look

As I mentioned in a past post on this Breakfast at Tiffany's inspired wedding invitation, sometimes you don't get the design right the first time. My clients Abby and Andre had something very specific in mind and we went several times through redesigning the invitations so it was just right. I think we finally got it right! We streamlined a few things since they wanted a website URL card and I told them that the triple mount idea was beautiful, but is costly. Therefore we agreed to make the response card larger to fit all the information they needed on there and make it a postcard which ultimately saved them some money per invitation.
It's interesting as my auntie was helping me work on this order I realized that my mother's wedding colors were also Tiffany Blue! We both commented how clean and simple but elegant this invitation turned out. I definitely am glad that we worked as hard as we did on this one to get it right. It took a few tries, but I think the clients will be happy!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Elisa & Jay - Real Wedding in Negril, Jamaica

My wonderful clients, Elisa & Jay just got back their wedding and honeymoon in Negril, Jamaica. I got a really nice email from Elisa letting me know that the flowers arrived safely but gave me some helpful hints from an international destination bride's perspective.
Shipping Elisa's order was stressful because I had to express mail it. Although it arrived in Jamaica the day after I sent it, it sat in customs for 4 days! I was nervous as I wasn't sure if it would make it to her final destination. I checked the status every day and finally the Thursday before her wedding it arrived at the hotel. She told me that she had to retrieve 2 boxes that she had shipped previous to my box the day before her wedding. The kicker was that she had to pay more duties even though the items were for personal use. She said it had to be paid in cash. I can only imagine the stress and drama she endured. So she did ask me to tell my international destination brides who live in the US but are getting married overseas. It's better to have family & friends hand carry the items on board or in their suitcases and deal with customs at the airport than to try and deal with shipments. Elisa paid a pretty penny for shipping and then to add on the duties on top of that is just insane.
Anyway, today's post is not all about the horrors of customs clearance when shipping orders, but more about the beautiful photographs her friends took of their wedding. What a beautiful location and my flowers aren't so bad either. :) I can't wait to see the pictures from her photographer as well. Thank you Elisa for sharing your wedding day photos, but also sharing some helpful advice for brides getting married overseas!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Krewe of Kamehameha Revisited...

Many times with clients, they have a color scheme in there mind, but when they finally see it in person, it's not necessarily what they had envisioned. This was the case with the invitations for my Krewe of Kamehameha clients. Alicia's sister-in-law wanted the light blue, purple and gold, but comparing it to Alicia's vibrant yellow orange and pink version, she felt that it wasn't as vibrant as she wanted. So today, upon discussing it with her in detail, she asked if we could try changing the colors for her invitation one more time. So we decided to go with the traditional Mardi Gras colors. Hopefully this is the one she prefers so we can get their order started and out to them to send to their guests. We also revised some of the text to make it more obvious to their guests what they are being invited to.
Some invitations and their revisions take longer to get it just right, but I always try to make my customers happy because I want them to be happy with the end result.

DK Designs Clay Flowers and Invitations in Inspiration Boards

(Image source: Nuptial Nuances)

My clay flowers and invitations have recently popped up in various inspiration boards on different blogs! I never thought my work would be in a wedding blogger's inspiration board, but it's so exciting to see.

First up is Nuptial Nuances blog by Creative Events by Ashley. Her focus was on Tiffany and Tangerine color palette. A color combination that is very popular with my clients. She featured my coral design incorporated into the couple's monogram!
Today, I got a google alert that Elizabeth Ann Designs blog featured my pink peony clay hair flower in the Pink and Gray inspiration board! I love Elizabeth Ann Designs blog. So many fun details and great information. I love the pink and gray color combination, simply beautiful!
(Image Source: Elizabeth Anne Designs)

Thank you to both blogs for featuring my work in their inspiration boards! I am so appreciative to be featured in some of the most coveted blogs around!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Formal Party Invitations - Krewe of Kamehameha

One of my favorite clients, Alicia, asked me to help her with the save-the-dates for her party extravaganza being hosted this summer to honor her 40th birthday and 3 special wedding anniversaries. The save-the-dates were informal and kind of fun and festive. Now it's time to do the invitations and she wanted them to be more formal. She still wanted to keep the fleur de lis and hibiscus motif, but change the colors a little bit. I also did some redesign on the logo because I wanted it to be more refined and less "in your face" than the original design of the save the date cards. We had a slight modification in colors, but we're still doing 2 different color palettes for Alicia's invitees and Laura's invitees. This is how the samples came out! I'm really excited about this and I'm looking forward to eventually doing her cake decorations and some other day of details!

Orange and Tiffany Blue Clay Flower Bouquets

My client, Ann found me after the WeddingBee.com post done by Miss Pineapple. She fell in love with the clay flowers. She wanted orange ranunculus, monkey tail ferns, stephanotis with Tiffany Blue rhinestone crystals and peonies and gardenias. Although the Tiffany Blue and orange color palette has been popular with many of my brides with invitations, this is the first time I had to do bouquets with these color combinations. The bride loved how it all turned out so that makes me happy! The below images are of the bridesmaid bouquets and below that is the groom's boutonniere. In total I did 4 bouquets and 4 boutonnieres. Now shifting back to invitations and more flower orders... Did wedding season ever stop??? For DK Designs, thank goodness it's been non-stop busy since 2007!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Spring Everlasting... DK Designs Floral Arrangements in the March Issue of Gentry Magazine!

Spring is in the air! I think it goes without saying that most of us are ready for the sunny and warmer weather, I know I am. I got a great surprise today from Jodi Murphy who is a contributing writer for Gentry Magazine and Gentry Design, writing the At Home Column, Kitchen and Bath Department and feature Interior Design stories. The March issue includes a short but wonderful write-up about my clay floral designs for the home! The digimag version will be available soon, but here's a couple of shots of the cover and the actual article that Jodi sent to me today.

Jodi asked me if I could send her some photos of my work for an article she was doing on Spring Entertaining. I didn't have time to work on a specific piece, but sent her several arrangements via pictures to see if anything caught her eye. This is HUGE for me and DK Designs. A new door opening of possible opportunities in the interior design community! Hmmm... maybe clay flowers will be a household name in many homes around the Bay Area. I'm really excited about possibly venturing into this and creating larger, more creative pieces for homes! Imagine, your own one of a kind flower sculpture or vase arrangement that no one else has!

None of this would have been possible without Lea McIntosh, Lea introduced me to Jodi after her Ready to Propose launch and Jodi realized that the flower in the video was made out of the same material in the arrangement I gave to Lea months ago. Lea asked me to create a small piece so Jodi could show it to the editor of Gentry Magazine and the editor was showing her entire staff because she couldn't believe it was handmade out of clay! Lea is one of my mentors, someone who inspires me to be all that I can be and to try new things. She's the queen of amazing ideas and I'm so fortunate that I've had the opportunity to work with her and that she believes in me enough to introduce me to some influential people in the interior design community! Women with creativity and a desire to empower those with creativity ROCK! Thank you Lea and Jodi for this amazing opportunity to share my love for clay art with the Bay Area community!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Cake Flowers, Cake Flowers and More Cake Flowers...

I guess today I'm making up for the lack of blog posts last week! LOL... I've been busy working on a bridal order that has to ship on Monday but I've also been trying to complete a bunch of cake flower requests from brides. These are a few of the cake flowers I've been working on. One bride wanted 3 plumerias with some green grass fillers for a small wedding cake.
The other two wanted different peony cake flowers which are 6 inches in diameter! I love the above pink one as it has 3 shades of pink graduating from dark to light! They are large and impressive, but very beautiful!